Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Next Day

There has been snow.  Here is an update of the view I shared yesterday.


And, later, some blue skies and sunshine ... which made going outside to shovel walks and dig out the car so much more pleasant than it might have been ...


I am going to play with knitting this afternoon–even if I don't get any further than knitting swatches and decided on a pattern for some yarn in my stash–and plan for a simple dinner later of French onion soup and some of the wonderful bread I picked up at the Farmer's market yesterday.

It's a perfectly lazy Sunday afternoon in Santa Fe.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Saturday Stuff

It was one of those gray, cold, windy mornings that make you want to stay under the covers a while longer ... which I did.  But eventually I did get up and about and out of the house, headed to the Farmer's Market at the Railyard.

Santa Fe Farmer's Market in Winter
It was still dry outside when I arrived, but the sky looked ominous.

I was surprised to see that there were still vendors outside.

Most of these booths were filled with natural holiday decorations–wreaths and swags made from evergreens and/or dried chiles, dried sage fashioned into animals, wreaths, smudge sticks ... and a ranch selling meat (with a barbecue going).   It was a bit more lively inside and soon after I arrived became as crowded as the Farmer's market outside is during harvest season.

Santa Fe Farmers Market in December The inside market

My little sleep-in made me late enough to miss the shiitake mushrooms I planned to pick up from one of the mushroom vendors–I settled for some oyster mushrooms and now just need a plan for them–but it was otherwise a successful trip.

I walked back to my car in the rain.  As I drove across town, the rain turned to (tiny) hail and then to sleet.  Just as I was pulling into the driveway, there was snow coming down.

It's SnowingAnd then it was coming down harder. And it started sticking. Soon, the view from my desk looked like this.

I feel like I went through almost all the phases of Winter weather in about an hour ... except for the one where the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the air is crisp and calm.  If the forecasters are correct, the sun will be back in full force on Wednesday.

In the meantime, it might be a good time to try snow-dying ...


If you are catching up on blogs this weekend and missed my post about my entry into the Everything Old is New Again block design challenge ... I would appreciate your vote (you must have a Facebook account to participate).  Here's the block and the link to take you to the challenge/voting page.

Lets Party

Vote here for your favorite

Friday, December 11, 2015

Office Party - A Challenging Comedy of Errors

Lets PartyThis is the block I designed for Modern Quilts Unlimited's monthly block design challenge, Everything Old is New Again.

I thought this curvy design, my interpretation of the traditional Bow Tie block was rather festive, so I called it Let's Party.

If you like my block design, I'd appreciate your vote ...  even if you don't like my block ... you might want to click over and see what others did, starting with a bow tie for inspiration.

Modern Quilts Challenge Link

You will need to log into Facebook in order to vote.

If your reaction to this combination of fabrics is one of "what was she thinking?" then keep reading as I share the comedy of errors on the path of making the block.

This monthly challenge started last summer; a friend sent me email about it because–no surprise to anyone who reads this blog–I love challenges.  Each month a traditional block is chosen and published by MQU and you have to design an original 12-inch modern block design based upon it.  But I was reticent, for a number of reasons:

  • Although I very much like and am definitely influenced by Modern Quilts, I would consider myself a Modernist, though not necessarily a Modern Quilter (with a capital M and a capital Q) and I feared the kind of reaction Laura Lang describes in her recent article about the Modern Quilt Police. It wouldn't be the first time ... and frankly, I already have enough grief in my life.
  • The winner of this design contest is determined by a social media popularity contest and I have such a small social media footprint that I figured that I wouldn't have a chance, so if I played along, it would be simply for that reason, to "play" with the challenges. 
  • For the first traditional block announced last summer, Flying Geese ... I had nothing in terms of a new interpretation. 
  • Blocks (and the sampler quilt at the end of the challenge)  had to be made ONLY from fabrics from Michael Miller.  I never choose fabrics for my projects based on who made them and because my stash is one of a scrap quilter, I don't even always know whose fabrics I'm choosing and using.  
But even if I was personally uninspired, I loved following along to see the modern interpretations of the traditional blocks so far and when the November block was announced, inspiration struck and my design idea stayed stuck in my head and insisted I make it. 

I remembered the December 10 deadline, but for some reason thought it was the date that you could START entering your block ... not the absolute, drop dead, must be posted by deadline. Yesterday morning I saw a mention of the deadline and realized my error.  I also realized that I would have to quickly make my block based on whatever fabrics in my stash I could absolutely identify as Michael Miller fabrics. It's only the busiest time of the year ... no problem. 

Note to fabric manufacturers:  Please consider printing your name and fabric information on BOTH selvages so that those of us that buy fat quarters will somehow have a clue whose fabrics we have. 

So, that's why this block is made from some old (vintage?) Michael Miller yardage, Daily Grind, that I won at a quilt retreat at least a decade ago, a fat quarter of Stitch Circle that happened to be the side that had the name on the selvage and a sparkly fat eighth of Confetti Border that was acquired for the MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge. 

Using that office cubicle print as a background for my Let's Party block led to a story (in my head, at least) of office workers waiting for the end of day and the holiday Office Party. 

I am celebrating my quickly finished entry on these lists: 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Another Visitor

My (indoor) cats often take me to the window and try to tell me about something that they can see, but I cannot.  Today, I spotted him (her?)

Visitor or Squatter?

As both my cats and I looked through the (dirty) window, he stared back. Johnny stood up on his hind legs, scratching at the window with an urgent need for me to open the window for him.  (It didn't happen).  When I stepped outside to try to get a better photo and see if he had a color, he took off over the fence.

This was my first real look at what I think is the third cat that regularly visits my yard and sends my cats racing from one window to another around the house so as to keep an eye on them and intimidate them as much as an indoor cat can.

I wonder if he wishes he could come inside as much as Johnny and Grace would like to get outside to take care of him?

He is definitely curious about what's inside.  I regularly see his shadow on the window shade as he perches on the side of the house outside the bedroom which has become my home office.  He also regularly leaps from the top of the fence to my roof–I suspect the metal roof on this house becomes quite warm and cozy even on a cold day. The frequency with which I hear him (and his friends) on the roof makes me wonder if I should consider them more squatters than visitors.

He looks to be healthy and well-fed.  I hope he has a warm home to return to when the sun goes down and the storms arrive.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

My Winter Sunrise

Yesterday, Hilda shared a spectacular sunrise photo–it's worth a click over to see.  It inspired me to take a moment this morning to take a moment and share one of my own.

December Sunrise

Here's my sunrise over the fence.

Before I moved, I could literally watch the sunrise from bed each morning.  Now, my bedroom is on the west side of the house, so I no longer have that luxury and when I'm up and about on the east side of the house, I'm usually too preoccupied with making coffee and getting ready for the day.

Thanks, Hilda, for the reminder to take a moment and enjoy the beauty right outside my front door.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Another Workshop Project

I was gifted with a guild workshop in November, along with the argument that I could pull fabrics from my stash so I couldn't say no. Life has been especially harsh (in case you wondered why I stopped blogging) and my heart wasn't really in it, but I went.

The workshop was taught by Karla Alexander.  Each student chose a project with curves from one of her books or patterns.

A bunch of us choose Electric Fence, the cover quilt from her book, Color Shuffle–clicking the book image will take you to Amazon.

I generally choose technique classes, not those based on making a quilt, so  I went into this one with the idea that I would make a smaller kid-sized version of the project–made from 20 blocks instead of 35–and concentrate on the technique and design ideas shared in the workshop.

When I was choosing fabrics from my stash, it seemed my bright choices were going beyond "electric" and I started to think of this little quilt as Neon Fence.

  Neon Fence - In Progress

Yesterday, as I was (finally) putting the blocks together, I thought about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and wondered if those electric sheep were jumping over neon fences? I'm not sure where that idea came from–I'm really not much of a fan of science fiction–but some jumping sheep may show up in the quilting design when I get there.

First, I need to decide up on borders.

But, for now, they are no longer blocks on the design wall waiting for me to DO something with them ... now it's an in-progress quilt on the design wall waiting for me to finish it up.

In the meantime, while all the fabrics were out ... some of them found their way into a December block for  It's the last of the long rectangles, called Wonky Strips.

You can read more about guidelines and find a link to the pattern here: 

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